Yep, it’s rubber-hose time, folks: a rapid-fire Q&A for those shifty-looking usual suspects ...
What crime novel would you most like to have written?
Oh boy. A photo-finish between FROM HELL by Alan Moore, THE BLACK DAHLIA by James Ellroy, and Borges’ story ‘Death And The Compass’.
Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
There’s no such thing as a guilty pleasure when it comes to books. Crime novels, sci-fi, music books, comic books, journalism, ‘mainstream’ literature, ‘slipstream’ literature, biographies, tales of the macabre … MAUS is just as valid as MOBY DICK.
Most satisfying writing moment?
That Twilight Zone thing where your peripheral vision goes fuzzy and time buggers off …
The best Irish crime novel is …?
THE MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE. Poe was melancholic, alcoholic and black-humoured, so he qualifies as Irish by default.
What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
I think Mike McCormack’s short story ‘A Is For Axe’ from GETTING IT IN THE HEAD would be a hoot.
Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst – it’s a profoundly antisocial occupation. Best – see above.
The pitch for your next novel is …?
Black and sticky.
Who are you reading right now?
THE NEW GRANTA BOOK OF AMERICAN SHORT STORY, edited by Richard Ford. They’re all great, but every fourth or fifth story just about makes my heart stop. And I’m re-reading A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND by Flannery O’Connor, ’cos she's the queen.
The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Blood, sweat and tears.
Peter Murphy’s JOHN THE REVELATOR will be published by Faber & Faber and Harcourt (US) in 2009.
“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.